Other names: Presa Mallorquin, Majorca Bulldog, Majorca Mastiff
The Ca De Bou, or the Majorcan Mastiff, is a stocky, extremely powerful breed that was developed near the Iberian Peninsula. Like all mastiffs, the Ca De Bou has large, muscular shoulders and a huge head. Unsurprisingly, these imposing looking animals were used as guard dogs in coastal settlements to ward off pirates and would be robbers. Despite their appearance, these dogs become very docile and quiet when not on duty. And as long as they receive the right training and socialisation, they make excellent family pets.
Key facts about the Majorca Mastiff
Life expectancy :
Origins and history
Unfortunately, the earliest records of these dogs show that they were used in the Mediterranean as fighting dogs and bear baiters. Luckily, as these barbaric practices began to decline, the Ca de Bou found a new lease of life as a guard dog and a watchdog.
In the eighteenth century, when Mallorca became an English colony after the Treaty of Utrecht, the English began to cross their guard and combat dogs with the Great Iberian Mastiff, obtaining the Ca de Bou (also called the Perro in his country). In the Spanish Book of Origins of 1923, we already see the existence of this breed. The first subject was inscribed in 1928 and, in 1929, a copy of this dog won the Barcelona exhibition.
It was first registered by the FCI in 1964. The breed experienced a dip in numbers during the following decades but had a welcome resurgence in the late 1980s, becoming especially popular in Russian and Eastern Europe. The first Ca de Bous were introduced to the UK around 2001.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 2 - Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs
Section 1 : Pinscher and Schnauzer type
Physical characteristics of the Majorca Mastiff
Female : Between 20 and 22 in
Male : Between 22 and 23 in
Female : Between 66 and 75 lb
Male : Between 77 and 84 lb
Brindle. Fawn. Black. Tan. Black.
Type of coat
Short. Flat. Rough.
The Majorca Mastiff is a medium-sized dog with a powerful grip. He has an elongated, muscular frame, with short but powerful legs. He has a thick neck and very large head with a stubby muzzle and small ears. The tail is fat at the base and narrows towards the tip, ending in a point. There’s a notable difference between the sexes; the males tend to be much larger.
Good to know
These dogs are very, very strong. Owners need to treat them with a firm but fair hand. Socialise as soon as possible. A poorly trained Mastiff can be extremely difficult to handle. Don’t let these powerful dogs get the better of you. They’re naturally obedient but they will also take advantage of passive owners.
The Ca De Bou is too big to be lap-dog and too laid-back to be overly affectionate. That being said, he still likes a few strokes and cuddles.
The puppies are very playful, and willingly participate in play sessions when invited.
He might not look it, but this dog is surprisingly calm. He exudes a quiet confidence. This guy doesn’t need to show off. He knows he’s tough, and he’s got nothing to prove to anyone.
The Ca De Bou has a reasonable level of intelligence. He responds well to basic obedience training but may struggle with advanced or overly complicated commands.
The Ca De Bou is a watchdog and a guard dog. Although he’s extremely powerful, he’s not athletic enough to be a successful hunting breed.
Fearful / wary of strangers
He is very suspicious of strangers, and needs time to analyze the level of danger in a situation.
He can demonstrate individualism and discretion without constantly demanding the attention of his masters.
Behaviour of the Majorca Mastiff
The Ca de Bou was developed as a guard dog and would often work through the night as his owners got some rest. He deals with solitude much better than most other breeds.
Easy to train / obedience
As long as you stick to the basics, this dog is fairly easy to train. Early socialisation is vital for big powerful dogs like the Ca de Bou.
This natural watchdog only barks when he needs to. When not on guard duty, he barely makes any noise.
Tendency to run away
The Ca De Bou is a relaxed, docile animal that should never run away.